Missouri budget

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

House budget writers finish reviews of Missouri's proposed spending plan for next year

Members of the budget committee now have until 4 p.m today to offer amendments, which will be debated and voted on Wednesday.   

Republican Ryan Silvey of Kansas City chairs the House Budget Committee:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released an additional $5 million withheld from this year’s K-12 and Higher Education budgets.

The Nixon Administration says $3 million of the withheld funding will help keep school buses on the road, while just over $2 million will go toward universities and community colleges.  Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the move was made because state lottery sales have been better than expected.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In the wake of a possible approximately 12.5 percent cut in higher education funding for fiscal year 2013, and ongoing discussion of tuition hikes and job cuts across the University of Missouri system in response, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced an a

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Mo. revenues behind amount needed for budget

Missouri's revenues continue to be behind what is needed to balance the budget. January's figures show that net state revenues grew two percent over the same month last year.

The fiscal year began in July. For the first seven months of the 2012 fiscal year, Missouri's general revenues were up 1.3 percent. That is almost half the 2.7 percent growth rate that the governor's budget office says is needed to meet the budget.

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Missouri is planning to refinance more than $500 million of debt as part of Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to balance the state budget.

Nixon's budget proposal for the next fiscal year assumes the state will save $41 million from the debt restructuring.

The governor's budget office says the state already has refinanced $20 million of principal from the debt used to build Mizzou Arena at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Governor Jay Nixon (D) is warning Missouri’s college administrators not to raise tuition to make up the difference in budget cuts he announced this week during his annual State of the State Address.

The governor wants to cut the state’s Higher Education budget by nearly $106 million, or 12.5 percent.  During his address Tuesday he indicated that he wants universities to leave tuition levels where they are.

Adam Procter | flickr

Missouri's legislative budget leaders may not go along with Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed cuts to public colleges and universities.

Nixon has proposed a 12.5 percent reduction to higher education institutions for the next academic year.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said Wednesday he does not intend to follow Nixon's recommendation. The Columbia Republican says the cut would be a huge blow to higher education.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 3:24 p.m.

A proposal has been scrapped by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to borrow money from Missouri’s state universities to help balance the state’s budget.

The idea was floated last month, in which $106 million in reserve funds from five of Missouri’s largest universities would be used to shore up the Department of Higher Education’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.  That sparked an outcry from both university officials and lawmakers.

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Halfway through Missouri's budget year, state revenues are sluggish.

The state budget office reported Thursday that Missouri's revenue increased 1.2 percent through the first six months of the 2012 fiscal year. Revenues need to grow at about 2.7 percent to meet the mark set by the budget.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the revenue report was "concerning." But she noted that the revenue could improve in the second half of the budget year. Missouri budgets take effect July 1.

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Missouri lawmakers will be trying to plug a half-billion-dollar gap in next year's budget when they convene their 2012 session on Wednesday.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says much of the hole is due to a reduction in federal money, such as stimulus funds and Medicaid payments.  However, State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) suggests that that number is not set in stone.

“There are predictions anywhere from $400 to $900 million, (that could) be our shortfall for this upcoming year," Pearce said.  "How do you fill that?  It’s gonna be tough.” 

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Missouri tax revenues have increased this year but are falling short of what was expected in the state's budget.

The state Office of Administration reported Friday that state revenues through November increased 2 percent, to $2.84 billion from $2.78 billion last year. So far, sales tax collections are up 3.4 percent but corporate income taxes are down 10.7 percent.

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he's monitoring the situation in Washington, following the so-called congressional supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on reducing the nation's debt.  He admits it's possible that the lack of action by Congress could impact Missouri's state budget next year:

"The uncertainties that you have in this job about the dollars coming in are very real…if they fail to reach the continuing resolution to move things forward by the end of the year is something we're looking at, to measure what that would do to the state," Nixon said.

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Missouri's revenues have fallen slightly short of what's needed to meet the budget through the first third of the state fiscal year.

Figures released Wednesday by the state Office of Administration show general revenues rose 1.2 percent through October compared with the same point in the previous fiscal year.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says revenues need to grow at around 2 percent to meet the mark set by the budget.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon is continuing to defend a decision to withhold more than $170 million from the fiscal year 2012 budget, despite a constitutional challenge from another statewide official.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.

Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172  million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.

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University of Missouri officials plan to make big cuts to an investment program in order to balance the books after a surprise cut in state funding.

The UM System says the Enterprise Investment Program’s budget will drop from $5 million to less than $3 million. UM System Vice President for Finance and Administration, Nikki Krawitz, said the year-old program helps bring University research and inventions to the marketplace.

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The two-person office that helped directors find locations, talent and equipment when they shot movies in Missouri is closing its doors Thursday, the victim of ongoing tight budgets.

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Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouri’s $23 billion budget for the next fiscal year into law – but he’s also slashed $172 million from the spending plan that takes effect July first.

Nixon says the cuts are needed not only to keep the state budget balanced, but to also help cover storm damage costs.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nixon to sign budget, Missouri RX bills

Gov. Jay Nixon will sign the 2012 budget for the state of Missouri - and cuts to the $23 billion spending plan are already in the works.

The governor said two weeks ago he would have to cut at least $113 million. Much of that is due to unplanned expenses from the Joplin tornado and flooding in southeast Missouri. More cuts could be necessary as the state is now also responding to floods along the Missouri River in the northwest corner of the state.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will shift $25 million from next year’s state budget to help pay for damage in Joplin caused by last weekend’s deadly tornado.

Nixon says he doesn’t yet know which areas of the FY 2012 budget he’ll use to help offset tornado expenses.

“What decisions we have to make because of that to trim the budget and to balance, we’ll make over the coming weeks…if the demands for dollars continue to move up, we clearly have other sources, other ways to get resources,” Nixon said.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon says he's confident his office can reach agreement with state House and Senate members over a series of tax breaks - known as "Aerotropolis" - designed to boost St. Louis as a hub for Chinese cargo.

SLPRnews

After Guilty Verdict, Jury Will Now Decide Coleman's Punishment

The jury that convicted Christopher Coleman in the murder of his wife and sons now must decide whether he’s eligible for the death penalty.

Jurors deliberated for nearly 15 hours over two days before finding the 34-year-old Coleman guilty of three counts of first-degree murder Thursday evening. Thirty-one-year-old Sheri Coleman and the couple's 9- and 11-year-old sons were strangled in their Columbia home in May 2009.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The $23 billion operating budget for the state of Missouri is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Lawmakers in both chambers gave final approval to the package of bills this afternoon.

SLPRnews

On Second Anniversary of Murders, Coleman Jury Deliberates

The jurors in the Christopher Coleman triple murder trial will begin a second day of deliberations. Coleman, a former Marine, is accused of strangling his wife and two sons in order to advance a love affair and protect his job working for Joyce Meyer Ministries.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday, Day 8 of the trial. The defense opened their case Wednesday morning and called two witnesses: a handwriting expert and a forensic linguist.

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Will be updated.

Funding for education is being pitted against aid to the elderly and disabled as Missouri lawmakers attempt to negotiate a final version of the state budget.

Negotiations stalled shortly after they started Monday because of a disagreement among House and Senate members about how much Missouri can afford to spend in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

At issue are the amounts of money going toward public school busing, colleges and universities, in-home care providers for the disabled and prescription drug aid for seniors and the disabled.

bkusler/Flickr

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Missouri lawmakers are reacting to the news that the mastermind of 9-11 has been killed by US Forces. In a statement, Republican Senator Roy Blunt calls Osama bin Laden’s death a major victory for America. Missouri’s Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, calls bin Laden’s death quote “justice delivered.”

The Missouri Senate has passed the state budget for next year.

The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s state budget for next year has been passed by the State House

The $23 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2012 holds current K-12 funding levels in place while cutting funds for higher education by seven percent.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has started debating the $23 billion state budget for next year.

The tone of the debate continues to be mild, with Democrats holding the view that there’s not much money to fight over.

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  • Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he is looking for around $500 million of savings in the state budget over the next several years. Missouri's Legislature is not in session this week because of its annual spring break. But Mayer says he nonetheless will be meeting with Senate budget-writing staff to try to identify changes that can save the state money. Mayer is a former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He gave little indication of what he is looking to cut. But Mayer did note that a gubernatorial commission has identified potential savings by restructuring and paring back the state's tax credits. Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey says the chamber is expected to take up a package of tax credit changes when lawmakers return from their break.

  • University of Missouri curators head to Rolla to determine the qualifications for the system's next president. The two-day meeting beginning Monday at Missouri University of Science and Technology follows several statewide public forums by a 20-member advisory panel that will help curators choose the new president. Curators are looking to replace Gary Forsee, who retired in January to care for his ill wife. Former general counsel Steve Owens is the interim president but is not interested in the permanent job. Campus leaders expect the presidential search to last most of this year. Curators will craft a statement on the desired qualifications of the four-campus system's next leader based in part on public comments from the statewide meetings.

  • The state of Illinois' decision to eliminate the death penalty means about three dozen state employees will soon be out of work. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that State Appellate Defender Michael Pelletier began notifying about 37 employees in his office on Friday that their jobs are being eliminated. That's because Gov. Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty earlier this month and commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row. Most of the employees being cut are lawyers who handled death penalty cases. The reduction will save about $4.7 million.

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